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IE7 - details begin to trickle out

 9:02 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Sources" say we'll see tabbed browsing, an integrated news aggregator, full PNG transparency support...and lots of improved security. No big surprises in any of that, really.

When it comes to functionality, IE is playing catch-up. I wonder if there is any real innovation going on. Well, that's not likely to be leaked this early, I guess.

Microsoft has shared publicly that IE 7.0 will be focused primarily on improving security...

But Microsoft is sharing quite a few more specifics about IE 7.0 privately with key
partners, claim sources who requested anonymity.

eWeek Article [eweek.com]



 9:16 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

the above article mentions no cross domain scripting as a security measure ...

will this mean blocking of third party js calls - such as adsense?


 5:54 pm on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'd be surprised to see Tabbed browsing from Microsoft. That would be a 180 in the face of "the web is tv" design philosophy that Microsoft has been following.

Is this the start of a "kinder gentler Microsoft"? Or is Bill just mellowing with age?


 6:12 pm on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think if MS doesn't include tabbed browsing, they'll be shooting themselves in the foot.

I'm hoping they expand it in the next OS to include tabs in Windows Explorer, where hopefully we will get some much needed functionality.

I don't see how they can block third party js by default -- they do and they'll be shooting any plans they have to have their own ads distributed in the future. One possibility is third party js being servered up from secure servers only.


 6:29 pm on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Funny I was thinking this the other day. They may try to mess with adsense as a third party .js while allowing their own version of adsense as a "safe" .js by default. They've done similar before. And I'm not talking about the Opera case.


 6:30 pm on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

what exactly is tabbed browsing guys?


 7:54 pm on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)


(fancy mdi docs) Open multiple pages within the same window (currently 30 pages open here in Opera)


 9:53 pm on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

don't see how they can block third party js by default -- they do and they'll be shooting any plans they have to have their own ads distributed in the future.

They could just have certain trusted domains configured as well.


 10:24 pm on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

They will be including Tabbed Browsing.

Read the IE7 facts on Paul Thurrotts WinSuperSite:
"NEW! IE 7 will include tabbed browsing. Microsoft will include tabbed browsing, along with other new features, in IE 7."



 7:43 pm on Mar 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

(fancy mdi docs) Open multiple pages within the same window (currently 30 pages open here in Opera)

how is this different from just opening a new window?

sorry if this seems like a dumb question! :-)


 2:03 am on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Webhound, the easiest thing to do is probably to download Firefox or Opera and see how tabs work for yourself - there are screenshots around, but they don't really give a feel for how it feels to used tabs. Either browser is only a few megabytes, and you don't have to use them again if you don't want to.


 3:40 am on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'd be surprised to see Tabbed browsing from Microsoft. That would be a 180 in the face of "the web is tv" design philosophy that Microsoft has been following.

Maybe that still have that view yet have elaborated on that by letting users watch more than TV station at a time!

It's not an innovative feature anymore, but it would be very useful and so therefore this doesn't surprise me in the least.

If they can make IE as secure as it should be, and with enough features, it will should regain its loss to FireFox.


 2:35 pm on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

how is this different from just opening a new window?

Everything's faster in tabbed browsking... opening new tabs, switching to others, etc. It also consumes far less resources... I once opened 300 tabs in Opera and it still worked (wasn't too quick, tho :) - amd 2500, 512 MB RAM). Try opening 30 IE windows. Try opening few IE windows and still be able to see what's opened in any one of them on the taskbar.

Real life example. You google "widget", all of top 30 pages seem worth looking at. In opera/firefox/whatever-else-I've-seen-recently-but-IE I can just click the middle mouse button on every link and start looking at those pages. When I find what I want, I just minimize desired page and hit ctrl+w for a second or so to close those 29 other windows.

Or - as some people do - you can have XX frequently used pages opened at all times... .


 4:45 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

but will it handle the Standards such as CSS properly like Firefox? Lets hope so! It will make web development a lot easier and more consistent.


 8:08 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

The last I heard MS only planned to "improve" CSS 2.0 compatibility.

However, if FF continues to gain momentum, I think they may have to change their mind.


 10:26 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've read that they are refusing to implement any of CSS2.1, because it's still not a finalised W3C Recommendation! Even though the spec document says it should be implemented.

Meanwhile, Opera and Firefox are charging ahead by supporting not only a lot of CSS2.1 but bits of CSS3 as well.

Now IE7's release has me worried. Won't it make Firefox look pointless to those unaware of the real differences? Think about someone used to IE6, who has read about all the great features in Firefox, but then IE7 comes out and appears to have the same things. How then will we convince such people to switch?


 11:09 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

So thanks to firefox we're finally going to see some action at Microsoft. Instead of just copying (which they've mastered so well) wouldn't it be refreshing if we could see them implementing something totally new.

How about convenient micropayemnts incorporated into the browser for example?


 4:10 pm on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

...blocking of 3rd party js as a "new ultra secure feature" ..If done ..Googles stock would implode in oneday ..

Without knowing any hard figures, I bet the lion's share of Google's income comes from clicks made on their site (and AOL, Teoma, etc) which are not served by js.

Gooogle could use another method to serve the ads on AdSense sites. I'm sure if MS put Google in a position like that G would fix the problem. I'm also betting a lawsuit would be in the cards.

Though lately, I'm so sure who I would like to see lose a high-profile court case more: G or MS...


 12:36 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

It looks like FF/Opera marketing will need to switch to promoting features that are less obvious ... like security (seeing as how they'll never be as integrated with the OS, hence never as vulnerable as IE).

MS has never fully comformed to any web standards, so why would anyone expect them to start doing so, now? Remember MSIE "extensions" and "document.all"?

Their only saving grace is the number of desktops they'll be shipping the new browser with, and the amount of spin they will be putting on their program when they compare it to the alternatives ... just like their current MS v. Linux "Get the Facts" campaign.

On a side note, what's to stop us from using the IMG tag to bring in the AdSense blocks instead of using the SCRIPT tag?


 12:53 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

MS has never fully comformed to any web standards, so why would anyone expect them to start doing so, now? Remember MSIE "extensions" and "document.all"?

And dont forget XMLHttpRequest! Oh wait - we like that one... ;)


 1:02 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Blocking javascripts from other servers would cause a HUGE problem on the net beyond AdSense as the impact would be staggering to many online service organizations and the ecommerce sites they serve.


- LivePerson or other online customer monitor / support tools would cease to function.

- IndexTools and other site stat tracking scripts would stop.

- Advertising Sites (AdBrite, Kanoodle, Fastclick, etc.)

Basically, most of my ecommerce customers would wake up one morning with deaf, dumb and blind web sites.

I can smell the lawsuits.


 1:32 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have no expectations of decent CSS2 support in IE7: in fact Dean Edwards of the IE7 project (the independent scripted solution to standards compliance) has noted that it would probably be impossible for IE's current rendering engine to support CSS2, and that developing a new rendering engine is impossible due to time constraints.

If Microsoft attempt to block third-party scripting and interfere with advertising such as AdSense, they'll be on the receiving end of a lawsuit before the release day is out, so I suspect they won't go there (but don't quote me on that!).

I think the most interesting potential development would be if any of the proprietary, rich client technologies XAML and Avalon make it into the new IE7 out of the Longhorn development version of Windows. XAML/Avalon is Microsoft's attempt to turn the web into an environment built on Microsoft-owned technology (to the exclusion of others) - a kind of Active-X-on-steroids with strong digital rights management and exclusive vendor lock-in. XAML/Avalon is the biggest threat to the open web as we know it today, and I would not be surprised by a strong move on Microsoft's part.

IE7 doesn't need to support CSS2 because the end-user desire isn't there. If tabbed browsing and an RSS feeder make it into the mix, along with the proprietary stuff, it could be enough to stem the tide and reinforce IE's market leader position.


 11:19 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm far from a Microsoft fan, and I doubt IE7 will have much in the way of new features. I have no doubt that IE7's release date wouldn't have been pushed forward if it wasn't for Firefox's success. I also think that other organisations could do a lot more with the same amount of money and resources that Microsoft have for IE.

However, having said that... I think Microsoft are really making great inroads in improving their products.

I'm mainly an ASP developer. I find ASP to be the cheapest web application development platform. In my experience, its flexibility and cross-language support rapidly decreases the development time reqired for projects. With development usually being the most expensive part of web production, reducing the overall time required to build a site reduces costs by a large amount.

Now, the problem comes with MS Web Server Software: NT4 Server was terrible. 2000 was better but not much.

Now since the "New Microsoft" emerged, they produced WIndows Server 2003. That in my opinion is very good. It's stability is leagues ahead of previous server software and getting close to competing with UNIX. It's less buggy and more secure out of the box.

Windows XP (especially post SP2) is another great leap in quality from Microsoft and there have been other softwares that have improved greatly recently.

I expect IE7 to be a good quality product. Still behind Firefox, but a big improvment, enough to stop Firefox gaining more market share.


 11:28 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'd be surprised to see Tabbed browsing from Microsoft. That would be a 180 in the face of "the web is tv" design philosophy that Microsoft has been following.

If Microsoft doesn't use tabbed browsing, I'll eat my hat. That is a definite as far as I'm concerned.

It's a major selling feature of the other browsers and Microsft will need to copy it to prevent its customers from switching.

I don't think Microsoft have pushed the 'Web is TV' philosophy for a number of years. Not since they jumped on the Media Centre bandwagon anyway.


 7:46 pm on Mar 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

ASP to be the cheapest web application development platform

Wow! Compared to, say, PHP or Python? That's pretty cheap! ;) How well does it integrate with MySQL?

I wish MS would play with the others, if its upcoming X* technologies are so cool. Otherwise, a decision lots of developers will need to make will be "MS-only or portable to every other web implementation on the planet". The past fiasco with their "extensions" and the tweaking of their browser product to perform well with their DOM model but poorly with the standard DOM model triggered years of confusion that still reigns today ... just check out the Javascript forums where "cross-browser" threads are pretty much dominated by "IE does this but [any other browser] does this" comments.

If they would stop trying to change the direction of the stream and simply try to be the king salmon by providing well-executed, standards-based products, they wouldn't be slowing down the progress of these technologies like they are. Every time we need to stop working with standards and move our thinking to the ill-formed MS models, we slow down. When those technologies are proven to be flawed or don't perform as well as standards-based technologies, then we need to redirect once again to get back in the game.

THAT's my biggest complaint with them: They can't play on the same field, so they keep trying to get people to come over to their field for a game, and the rest of the world pays for the ticket.


 2:33 pm on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

ASP to be the cheapest web application development platform

Wow! Compared to, say, PHP or Python?

I don't think you understand what ASP is. It's a programming platform, not a programming language (like Python is). It's actually language independent.

Because it is language independent, you can use a variety of languages with it. For example, you can use Python with ASP.

That's pretty cheap! ;)

Please bear in mind that I'm talking about the development and maintenence costs of the website, not just the startup costs.

Sure to get ASP you need to buy a copy of Windows. Windows Server Web Edition costs around 400. PHP doesn't cost anything to download and you can put it on a free os like FreeBSD or Linux. You'll probably need to spend a bit more money on hardware for the same performance.

However, that's just a one-off startup cost. Say you're spending 600 more for Windows Server + more expensive hardware. That's nothing compared to the costs of building and maintaining the site.

Let's say you've just got a small website. It takes a month to build in PHP. Lets say your time is worth 10 an hour (or the developer you've hired costs 10 an hour).

If the website takes a month to build, that's roughly 160 hours:

PHP: 1,600

Now lets say you've hired an ASP developer. ASP has the advantage of being platform independent. This means that you can choose the best language for the job. Let's say a feature of a site needs some intensive string handling, you can write your string handling functions in Perl and call them from your ASP page. Thus by not limiting yourself to the weaknesses of a single language, you can develop the site faster.

So the ASP developer can write the site in less time. Say he can reduce the development time by 20%. The cost of development will be:


On top of this your site will be up and running 6 days earlier (4 days + a saved weekend)

So your site will be generating revenue earlier. Say that once the year's up, it's generating 1,000 a month. Those extra 6 days will generate you 200

So once we've taken that in to account, the loss you've made on development is now...


Once you've added on the cost of the Windows OS and extra hardware, you're looking at a development loss of

ASP: 1,680

So the cost is about the same for a very simple website that only takes a month to build with a cheap developer (10 per hour).

Most sites that takes less than a month to build will be cheaper with PHP. That's why it's a popular choice for hobby sites (you don't get anywhere near as many hobby sites on ASP).

If your (or your hired developer's) time is more valuble than 10 an hour then it starts getting significantly cheaper. If your site is a big site that requires full time development then you're going to be getting the work done even faster with ASP saving yourself a small fortune.

That's why I find ASP the best choice for large business sites that generate revenue in some form from the web.

How well does it integrate with MySQL?

Very, it integrates well with any database that has an ADO interface. On top of that, if you don't want to use ADO, many ASP compatible languages support direct mySQL access, such as Perl and Python.

Many people don't really understand what the ASP platform is. They get it confused with VBScript (a language, not a platform). VBScript isn't particularly powerful, and a lot of other languages beat it hands down. It is good for fast web development in some areas, but not all. However when you use the power of multiple languages with ASP, you've got a very flexible development tool on your hands.

Disclaimer: Just because I like ASP, does not mean I have the same enthusiasm for other products in Microsoft's range! ;-)


 2:44 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

As far as I knew ASP is a type of technology meaning active server pages. Microsoft has an ASP technology called ASP, there are other ASP technology solutions PHP, JSP, etc.

How do you get Perl or PHP code to run from a Microsoft ASP page?

And it's interesting that you said if you need major string handling you can wipe that up in Perl and use it in ASP because PHP has a lot of heavy lifting concerning strings already built in. In fact it's got hundreds of time saving functions. Try quickly implementing encryption in ASP. These are important things to very large companies and ASP doesnt have default solutions you would have to buy packages for all the stuff that is quickly available for free from PHP.


 6:33 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

I thought this was an IE7 thread, not a PHP vs. ASP thread...


 6:43 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is an IE 7 thread, but that doesn't seem to keep mrMister from posting claims that have very little to do with reality, even though his made up numbers create the impression that they do. Obviously companies like Google, Ebay, Amazon etc didn't find those numbers to be true when they first scripted their systems in Open Source languages, and neither do the vast majority of site owners, currently around 80% [assuming that the current ~20%, and dropping, market share IIS has is the only platform that runs .net type products, which is what I suspect was meant by '.ASP'].

Back to topic, I don't see IE 7 doing anything substantial for one simple reason: the IE rendering engine has I believe not been fundamentally rewritten since IE 4. What MS will do is add some more hacks, some security fixes, some eye candy like tabbed browsing. Leaving the rendering engine basically untouched. I've read more than one fairly intelligent commentator note that there comes a time in browser rendering engines where you have to start from scratch, Opera has the advantage of having done that in Opera 7, Mozilla/Firefox/Gecko in Gecko 0.x, but IE is still using the same underlying code, which can't be 'fixed' without making it even more convuluted.


 6:58 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

what exactly is tabbed browsing guys?

In case anyone still has this question -- for an application which uses tabs to keep multiple pages open at once, just open a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel. (By default you have three sheets to work with, and of course you can add more.)

Many simple text (and rtf) editors are also tabbed (EditPad, NoteTab, ConTEXT, CryptEdit, etc.)

This 36 message thread spans 2 pages: 36 ( [1] 2 > >
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